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How To Plant A Cover Crop In Your Garden This Fall – Episode 120

Here is a look at this week’s podcast: How To Plant A Cover Crop In Your Garden This Fall. Just click on the episode button below to listen in, or read on to discover how and why a cover crop can protect your garden’s soil this winter, and just how simple it is to plant and maintain!

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Show Outline / Show Notes

Introduction : How we have been using a cover crop to build our garden soil for years.

Not only does a cover crop build soil nutrients, it also helps protect the soil. Especially from the harsh winds, rain and snow of winter. In fact, up to 1/8th of the soil can be lost to erosion in the garden over winter.

Why & How A Cover Crop Helps Your Garden

Protects the soil from erosion

Protects from weeds taking over the soil

Keeps weed seeds from blowing in – next year’s weeds!

Build soil strength and also nutrient levels (some even fix nitrogen levels)

Common Misconceptions about Cover Crops

  • hard to plant
  • expensive
  • have to till them in

How To Plant A Cover Crop

  • clearing the garden
  • raking
  • sowing the seed
  • watering in
  • protecting with a thin layer of mulch ( Leaves, straw or shredded leaves)

Maintaining The Cover Crop Through Fall

  • little need to mow or water
  • dormancy stage

Spring Cover Crop Care

  • mowing off to kill the cover crop is not only easy, but efficient compared to tilling
  • tilling under vs. planting through the soil

QUESTION OF THE WEEK : Myra from Connecticut asks “I have heard you talk about planting through the dying cover crop for transplants, but isn’t it hard to do for seed crops?”

  • planting row crops is not only simple, it is easier to keep weed free
  • planting transplant crops
  • mulching over the cover crop

The Annual Cycle Of A Cover Crop In A No Till Garden

  • how to replant in the fall again
  • little need for added nutrients to soil
  • using a cover crop in the summer or for a living mulch


Suze Southwell

Sunday 10th of October 2021

All so helpful even living in the south...... can't get straw. After our tornado Michael, pine straw unavailable/too expensive. Been following for years, enjoyed traveling with you 😊 Copied some of your house building ideas, etc. Love all the canning recipes, etc etc

Jeffrey Smith

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

When can I compost my garden. Now and cover with leaves and or grass for the winter then till it all up in the spring.

Sande Auvenshine

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Here in Central Texas, our farm supply sells Elbon cereal rye. I purchase it in a 50 lb. sack, and it costs around $20. I have shared quart bags of seeds (and your instructions) with friends, and they have had many happy experiences!

Just FYI, the Texas Ag Department has put out much information about cover crops, encouraging FARMERS to plant cover crops in their layed by fields, touting the benefits of nitrogen deposits and fewer weeds! Progress is being made, albeit rather slowly.

Today, I am experimenting with sowing a cover crop in a yard that has had horrible infestations of sandburs, goat heads, etc. Neglected for years, we have spent this year killing and removing as many plants as possible, applying a combination of corn gluten meal, wheat bran, and dry molasses for feeding, and keeping the yard mowed. Now we plan to scatter a good layer of Elbon rye and raking lightly. Hopefully we have enough clean grass and straw to cover lightly so it will sprout. Wish us luck. This has been one challenging project.

Blessings on you as you lead us in better ways of respecting and enjoying God’s good earth.

Sincerely, Sande Auvenshine